Laura Otero: From Noche to Night

Laura-Otero-LJNAnyone who has heard Laura Otero from her earlier repertoire or her remarkable performances on stage in Colombia’s Misi Productions will want to discover this 2015 disc From Noche to Night. I would describe this young woman as having a dynamic coloratura voice. Besides Ms Otero is no ordinary girl-next-door soprano. Her singing comes on a generous scale, with a wide range and bags of personality – easily enough to encompass every aspect of this multi-faceted traditional-modern, Colombian-American programme.

Laura-Otero-From-Noche-to-Night-1LJNIn her hands the songs of her country in rhythms that range from joropo to cumbia hold the key to a truly wondrous parade. I am quite sure that the traditional elders, idols such as Totó la Momposina would have entirely approved – there is some outstanding vibrato just under the note and Laura Otero’s ideas touch a rarefied and beautiful realm. And this is singing unafraid of exploring light and dark, even some rarely-sounded other-worldly fare so unbuttoned, all wholeheartedly supported by exquisite arrangements and by her wonderful ensemble. From there it is only a short step towards some truly memorable music for her beautiful lyricism in vocals sung here with fearless bravura.

Although Laura Otero makes the most substantial contributions to the disc, by way of her vocals, guitarist Andrew Friedrich and bassist Richard Mikel deserve special kudos for their hand in this weighty production, which is handled with substantial poignancy and does quite match the magnificence of the vocals of Laura Otero with reverberant immediacy and honesty as well as with a stamp of individuality that might easily suggest further productions in the near future. I cannot suggest any one song by which to remember the album by. All of the music is entirely unique and charming but I did listen to Merceditas and Nuestra Canción several times and with special delight.

I suspect that most, if not all, of this music will take Laura Otero on to new challenges. Merceditas, with its queen-of-the-night high C hanging magically in the air is always a jaw-dropping piece for me and does not disappoint no matter how many times I listened to it. After that, Laura Otero’s heartfelt singing on the rest of the almost fifty minutes of music brings rapt stillness and boundless excitement too. The alluring Dónde Estás Mi Amor? brings to an end the exotic beauty of this magnificent disc. It’s hard to imagine a programme that is more imaginative or singing more compelling.

Track List: Merceditas; A Paso Lento; Pienso en Ti; Hard To Say Goodbye; Nuestra Canción; Agua de Fuego; Mi Canción no Deja de Amarte; From Noche to Night; Dónde Estás Mi Amor?

Personnel: Laura Otero: vocals; Andrew Friedrich: guitar; Richard Mikel: bass; Daniel Dufour: drums; Claudia Gómez: vocals (3); Michael Longoria: percussion (1, 6 – 8); Zack Varner: clarinet (6, 7), alto saxophone (6); Marcus Wilcher: soprano and tenor saxophones (1, 4, 6); Ilia De la Rosa: cello (7); James Anderson: violin (2); Mike Maddux: accordion (2); Michelle Alonso: backup vocals (8); Jessica Green: backup vocals (8); Kiko Villamizar: backup vocals (6).

Label: Destiny Records
Release date: November 2015
Running time: 49:05
Buy music on: amazon

About Laura Otero

Laura Otero, a native of Bogotá, Colombia, has been performing musical theatre for 23 years in the professional Colombian Company Misi Producciones. She has participated in musical productions such as Jesus Christ Super Star, Annie, Oliver, and over 11 original productions, including La Mas Grande Historia Jamás Cantada, performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York in 2012. Read more…

Raul Da Gama
Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

More from author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts


Featured Posts

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

El Gran Fellové: Part 2- Enter Chocolate & Celio González

Early Sunday morning… I awoke to the pleasant surprise of a Google Alert in my email. I clicked to find Variety Magazine had published an...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more